A Self-made Opportunity

by John H., Concordia Applied Journalism

At Concordia, there’s plenty of opportunity for expression for the student population. Be it in CitizenC in articles like this, maker space creations, or even video game development through SMS. Freshman student Ethan K. found one way to apply his initiative to a creative project that brings benefit to others, proving that there’s a chance for everyone to indulge their passion in a busy community such as ours.

A still image from the Fire Drill Evacuation video that Ethan K. made for Concordia’s Operations Department. (image: supplied)

A still image from the Fire Drill Evacuation video that Ethan K. made for Concordia’s Operations Department. (image: supplied)

To create the most recent Fire Evacuation video, the Operations department didn’t turn to marketing or the tech hub, or even to the talented Student Media Services, but rather they partnered with Ethan K., who made the video in the final months of his 8th grade year. He got this opportunity through some lucky opportunities, and his own dedication to his craft.

Freshman Ethan K. found a way to match up his personal interests with a need in the community. (image:  supplied )

Freshman Ethan K. found a way to match up his personal interests with a need in the community. (image: supplied)

 The story began with a passion stoked by experiences in his old school in Beijing. Ethan had already loved working with videos and similar projects, so this heightened level of interest lead him to this opportunity.

“I liked doing something and then I got in touch with the right people, and they let me pursue my passions,”says Ethan.“One of my [former] teachers put me in touch with Mr. Lavender… he said we have this project, and do you want to work on it?”

 As drills are rare, there was significant pressure to get it right. With only one opportunity to shoot the raw footage, Ethan managed to rally some camera operators. He gleaned excellent images – enough to produce a precisely cut 3-minute video which communicates instructions for schoolwide fire-drills.

 “There was a-lot of planning involved in the fire video because we only had one shot,” Ethan recalls. “I asked a few of my friends if they were willing to step out of class to help me film, and they said sure.”

 Using drone footage shot by Mr Lavender, Ethan was able to have a transition between video and a descriptive animation to illustrate important pathways that students must take on the fire drill days.

“We needed people to know where to stand for the video, so we thought an aerial shot with animation would be the best way for that,” says Ethan.

 Some post-production work revealed a need to show a sequence that wasn’t possible to film on the day of the drill, so Ethan got creative. “I was put in touch with a who was willing to let me film her class as the actors for the video,” he says.

 In reflection Ethan is as self-critical as many artists: “I feel like with a little more planning we could have done it better.” Yet, he says, “I was satisfied with how it came out.”